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This album is a collection of beautiful and spacious modern classical music played on electric guitars. Duo Orfeo began using electric guitars to interpret classical music in 2010 and this album, produced by Peter Blanchette, is the first recorded fruit of their efforts. Read More

All of the pieces on “I sing the body electric” were arranged by Joe Ricker for electric guitars. At over 70 minutes in length, the album is vast in scope, but the music chosen and the instruments used achieve a remarkable unity. Arvo Pärt’s Fratres and Spiegel im Spiegel, Erik Satie‘s Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes, Federico Mompou‘s Musica Callada, Valentin Silvestrov’s Quiet Songs and John Cage’s In a Landscape: these works are representative of a thread that runs through modern classical music in which turbulence and complexity are eschewed in favor of an aesthetic that is quietly powerful, deeply searching, beautifully simple and simply beautiful.

The clean, undistorted tone produced by vintage electric guitars and tube amplifiers with a wash of spring reverb is stunningly gorgeous in and of itself and capable of immense subtlety, expressivity and power. While using instruments not originally intended for classical music (a 1969 Fender Jazzmaster and ES-335 arch-top though Fender tube amplifiers) Duo Orfeo approaches these instruments in the same way they approach classical guitars, manipulating the strings with their fingers to produce all the timbral and dynamic variations needed to bring the notes to life. There are no special effects here, just the magic of using a familiar and beloved sound in a new way.

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Duo Orfeo's self-titled recording features the otherworldly beauty of Eric Satie's Crooked Dances along with several exquisite miniatures from Federico Mompou's collection Impresiones intimas. Read More

Complimenting the rarefied atmosphere of this music are two duos by Francesco da Milano, the foremost lutenist of the Italian Renaissance, and a selection from Brazilian composer Radamés Gnattali's Suite Retratos. Central though the piano was to his life's work, Frédéric Chopin once declared the only thing more beautiful than a guitar to be two guitars. This recording closes with two of Chopin's Nocturnes, released, through Duo Orfeo's guitars, as if to their natural habitat.

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Joe and Jamie's first duo release, The Grace Sessions was recorded live and unedited over two nights in Grace Episcopal Church, Amherst, MA. J.S. Bach's monumental 3rd English Suite is featured in its entirety, along with Brahms' sublimely intimate Op. 117 Intermezzi. Cordoba, Isaac Albéniz's memoir of that Andalusian city is heard in a classic duo arrangement by Emilio Pujol. Closing this diverse program is Luigi Boccherini's Introduction and Fandango, by turns poised and raucous, from his 4th Guitar Quintet.

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